WAYNE UNDERWOOD HALL OF FAME PROJECT UNDERWAY - "He Helped Changed Lives"

(06/04/2004)

Wayne Underwood 1913-1967

By Bob Weaver

The Wayne Underwood Hall of Fame and Museum, which includes an enclosed area for viewing football games or other events at Calhoun Middle-High School, will become a reality, according to Ox Johnson, a CCHS graduate and football player from fifty years ago - Class of 1955.

Johnson, who has supported local sports over the years, said "Underwood won more football games than any other coach. He had the ability to motivate. He helped change the lives of many of his players."

"We'd like to see him remembered in a more permanent way," he said.

He played under the famous coach between 1952-54.

Johnson, Junior Smith and Loyd Wright (the "Three Amigos") appeared last month before the Calhoun County Board of education seeking approval for the project. School board members gave their unanimous support.

"We are hopeful other graduates and fans will join with us in helping finance this project," Johnson (Pictured Left) said. "We are now embarking on an active campaign."

The new two story building will be aesthetically similar to the press box, and will be built beside that structure. It is expected to cost between $30,000 and $40,000 and will include a second story seating and viewing area with large windows, allowing a broad view of the field.

"It will be heated for old guys like me on those really cold nights," said Johnson.

The second floor and roof area will be sold or leased to spectators on an annual basis as a fund raiser for the athletic department.

The bottom floor will be used to display Underwood memorabilia.

The original Underwood Monument which has been moved from the original field that bears his name, will be inserted into a slot of the new building.

Johnson said the monument had been vandalized at the old field, and Underwood's picture had to be replaced. The inscription was written by former player Dick Sturm, said Johnson.

Architect plans developed by Burgess and Niple have been given to the school board.

"Donated labor and construction equipment will be appreciated," said Johnson.

Donations for the project can be sent directly to

Wayne Underwood Building Fund, c/o Calhoun County Bank
372 Main Street
Grantsville WV 26147

See PEOPLE, HUMOR AND HISTORY: 11/16/03 "Wayne Underwood 1913-1967"


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